1969 Jefferson Airplane album, one of their best in my opinion. In addition to the music, there's the cover, which caused me to buy it on vinyl to see everything as it was intended.


The cover is done as a mock newspaper, presumably parodying coverage of the hippie movement and its music festivals. The front has a black and white picture of the band, dressed even more oddly than usual for the era, with a colored U.S. flag added against the trees which form the original photo background. This picture is captioned: "Dateline Paz -- Jefferson Airplane as they appeared at the exciting Paz Chin-In held this weekend in Paz, South Dakota. After this picture was snapped, the group donned jocular facial things and mingled with the crowd on hand, estimated by reliable sources at four billion."

The back cover goes into more detail. The left of three columns has album credits, including the note "All the songs in this album have been recorded complete and unexpurgated as they are performed on stage by Jefferson Airplane," doubtless a reference to the "Up against the wall, motherfucker" controversy in "We Can Be Together" and possibly the line "doesn't mean shit to a tree" in "Eskimo Blue Day."

Below the credits is a comic strip with a little blobby creature jumping on a coffee-drinking insectoid to free the little blobby creature inside, who gives thanks as the sun smiles down on them (literally).

The next column is an article, headed "Paz Chin-In Huge Success." A photo of what most people would identify as a curly-haired little girl and two men wearing newspaper hats (one of which says, "Eisenhower Dies") is captioned, "Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Vine of Paz, South Dakota, and their son, Pancake." The article text:

Paz, South Dakota --
The Sun, like a heat lamp gone ape, beat down upon the streets and fields of this rustic, rural community as it played host this past weekend to the first annual Paz Chin-In. It turned out to be a warm and wonderful weekend with many wild and wacky happenings. Some of the participants and audience alike removed their shirts. Some removed their pants. And some removed some ants from some hydrangea plants!

All the top band that were advertised arrived and did outstanding sets: The Beavers, Juff Gleento, Hunk, The Knobs, Rufus and the Juts, The Ho, The Ked, The Roland Stoves, and many more. A highlight of sorts was reached during the Saturday evening show when AOK, a 54 piece band from Houston, launched themselves in a space caspule from the stage and completed two orbits around the Moon before ending their set with a brilliant splashdown into a nearby rainbarrel!

Other highlights included:

  • Mo Eddison introduced a new musical instrument: a large guitar-like apparatus with six-three-foot-thick cables strung across a fifty-foot replica of the Golden Gate Bridge called a "Mandoleen"; and promptly blacked out South Dakota and five adjoining states for seventeen minutes by attempting to play "Lady of Spain," with feedback!
  • Juff Gleento completely dazzed everyone by appearing on stage wearing glittering, sequined, and pearl-inlayed {sic} orange rinds!
  • Many world renowned jugglers and magicians performed, including Elmer of Elmhurst who not only juggled ten full-size bathtubs with his feet, but also held his breath, with his hands!
  • At one point during the festivities the dancing got so exuberant and vociferous that Farmer Morgon's back-forty was heard to shout, "HEY, EASY ON THE SODS, MODS!"
  • And Bud Dolan stopped by on Sunday and did a quick guest set, singing his latest single, "She Called Me A Hick When I Asked For Her Cup!"
All in all, a good time was had by all who attended.

The next column contains a crossword puzzle grid with no clues and letters, numbers, and symbols used to designate the different squares. Beneath that:

Question of the Day

What Is Your Favorite Stripe On The Flag?
Grace Slick, Singer
Point that thing somewhere else
Paul Kantner, Singer
Marty Balin, Singer
What Flag?
Jorma Kaukonen, Guitarist
Let me answer that question by posing another -- Why don't the Pentacles keep their evil spirits away?
Jack Casady, Bassist
Spencer Dryden, Drummer
"The little lady and I were in St. Tripe last summer -- lovely place - but I hear some of those Hippie types are starting to move in. I certainly hope they nip THAT on in the bud, toot sweet!"

And now that I've finished with the cover, the words to the title track of the album:

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of America
Volunteers of America

"Volunteers" is, as well, a middling-to-amusing 1985 movie starring Tom Hanks, John Candy, and Rita Wilson. The essential premise is that Hanks is an undisciplined and oversexed collegiate upper-crust fast talker -- sort of a con man with no need to do any conning because he's born rich. But then his father refuses to pay off his gambling debts, leaving Hanks with no recourse but to switch places with a college friend on a Southeast-Asia bound Peace Corps mission. On this long, long flight, Hanks flirts with Wilson's earnestly idealistic character by pretending to share her views, and meets Candy's over-the-top cheerfully gung-ho architect, a font of Americanisms bent on bringing civilization to the unilluminated.

With some predictability, the trio are sent to the same village to organize the villagers and build a bridge to civilization (which, it turns out, the communists wish to use to spread communism, the local American military detachment wishes to use to spread Americanism, and the local drug lord wishes to use to spread opium). At the same time, Hanks continues to pursue romance with Wilson, who is being courted simultaneously (and, initially, more successfully), by an American military macho man. Hijinks ensue. At some point during the course of the film, each of the main cast members is kidnapped by one or another of the competing groups in order to be threatened/brainwashed/comedically assaulted. On second watching (after several decades), the film had a number of surprisingly witty moments tucked in amidst its general implausibility.

Outside of the story, this film is noteworthy for being the launching pad for one of Hollywoood's most successful high-profile marriages, between Hanks and Wilson. The pair previously had worked together on Bosom Buddies, but their relationship began while filming this film.

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